Teenage top achiever refuses to let disability get in his way

2011-05-02 00:00

WHEN the heavily pregnant Roshnee Naidoo was attacked by a bag snatcher and fell to the ground she knew her unborn child would not be normal.

Repeated visits to different doctors could not confirm this at the time, but her son, Kreeson, was born with cerebral palsy affecting his lower limbs.

Naidoo braced herself for a life of heartbreak and struggle.

But this was not to be. Little did she realise that her son would grow up to communicate in three languages, represent South Africa overseas in an international competititon and receive several accolades in just 15 years — and he continues to triumph.

Early signs of his condition were detected when he would tiptoe and his ability to walk normally deteriorated over time. Kreeson still walks, but not as easily as able children.

The grade 10 pupil at St Martin de Porres Comprehensive School for challenged children in Port Shepstone, was selected to represent South Africa in drama at the International Smiling Child Festival in Istanbul.

The group came first among participants from 26 countries.

Most of his friends are deaf, so Kreeson learnt sign language to communicate with them. Others prefer isiZulu, and he learnt to speak it fluently.

Asked how he manages, he simply says: “I love to learn. And I love my friends, so I take in as much as I can.”

Recently he also won a poster and speech competition hosted by the KZN Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Department in which he competed provincially in Zululand.

Kreeson’s passion is football and he hopes one day to coach at professional level. “Soccer is what I look forward to most. Ask me anything,” he challenges.

The youngster is mad about Sundowns Football Club, saying that although they’re only fourth on the PSL log, “a true fan stays true”.

His dad, a Pirates supporter, often has it out in the lounge with him, where mum has to referee.

According to his mum, Kreeson’s heels have never touched the floor in over a decade, which will become a serious problem, and possibly lead to complete immobility.

A doctor in Durban has offered his services to make walking easier, but Kreeson is petrified of doctors.

“It will take some convincing, but it’s something that needs to be done,” said his mother.

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